MBS-UNC Partnership Provides Monoclonal Antibodies to Aid in the Diagnosis of Chikungunya Virus

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Today, MBS is announcing the release of three monoclonal antibodies to chikungunya virus. All three antibodies detect active strains of chikungunya virus by ELISA

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Applications for these antibodies include the detection of active virus either in circulation or in mosquito carriers

In 2012 Maine Biotechnology Services entered into a partnership with Drs. Mark Heise and Kristin Long of the University of North Carolina Medical School, with the objective of developing monoclonal antibodies to support ongoing research efforts to advance adequate vaccine and rapid detection methods for chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an emerging global infection.

Today, MBS is announcing the release of three monoclonal antibodies resulting from that partnership. Inactivated CHIKV was used as the immunogen and all three antibodies detect active strains of chikungunya virus by ELISA. In addition to recognizing the immunizing vaccine strain 181/25 by ELISA, these clones also recognize the CHIKV strain originating in Sri Lanka. Further ELISA data indicates that the antibodies do not cross-react with other alphaviruses including Mayaro, Ross River and O’nyong-nyong viruses. Applications for these antibodies include the detection of active virus either in circulation or in mosquito carriers MAB243P, MAB244P, and MAB245P are out of pilot production and available for immediate sampling.

About Chikungunya Virus: Chikungunya virus belongs to the alphavirus genus and is an arboviral human pathogen transmitted through the mosquito strains: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. It is endemic in Africa, Asia and, is expanding its reach in recent years. It is clinically very similar to Dengue and therefore there is a need for differential diagnostic tools for the management of the disease. Antibodies specific for CHIKV can be used for the development of the differential diagnostics as well as for surveillance of the mosquito population to predict and manage outbreaks. Beginning in 2014, cases were identified in U.S. travelers returning from the Caribbean. (Centers for Disease Control, retrieved August 18, 2014)

About Maine Biotechnology Services: Maine Biotechnology Services is a premier provider of antibody services, from design and development to production and characterization. MBS extends the creativity and experience necessary for the most complex hybridoma development projects. A wide variety of tools are utilized by MBS to allow customers the opportunity to refine clone selection early in a project, and to support prototype assay validation. Collaboration opportunities combine 25 years of custom hybridoma development experience at MBS with academic expertise on targets of shared interest.

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Kimberly LaPointe
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